Famous 19th Century French Artists & Painters

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century French Painters, including Claude Monet, Marcel Duchamp, Henri Matisse, Paul Gauguin and Paul Cezanne.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite French

 1 Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh.
29
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 30, 1853
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zundert, Netherlands
Died: July 29, 1890

Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter and is said to be one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. However, he was not commercially successful in his lifetime and died by suicide at 37 after years of mental health issues and poverty. He gained recognition and respect in the 20th century.

 2 Claude Monet

Claude Monet.
6
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 14, 1840
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris
Died: December 5, 1926

Claude Monet was a French painter. The founder of French Impressionist painting, Monet's painting Impression, soleil levant gave rise to the term Impressionism. Often dubbed the driving force behind Impressionism, Monet mastered the art of painting the same scene several times so as to capture the changing of the light. Since his death, his paintings have sold for record prices.

Recommended Lists:

 3 Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse.
5
Famous As: Painter, Sculptor
Birthdate: December 31, 1869
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Nord
Died: November 3, 1954

Henri Matisse was a French artist. Although he was known for his skills as a painter, Matisse was also a renowned sculptor, printmaker, and draughtsman. Along with Picasso, Matisse is regarded as one of the artists who contributed immensely to the revolutionary developments in visual arts. His works also influenced other painters who would adopt a technique called intense colorism.

 4 Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin.
7
Famous As: Artist - Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Engraving
Birthdate: June 7, 1848
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris
Died: May 8, 1903
French Post-Impressionist artist, sculptor, and writer Paul Gauguin was a major figure in the Symbolist movement. He had worked as a stockbroker and businessman before gaining fame as an artist. He influenced the French avant-garde and modern artists such as Pablo Picasso and also led the way for Primitivism.

 5 Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne.
4
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: January 9, 1839
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Aix-en-Provence, France
Died: October 22, 1906

French artist Paul Cézanne was a prominent Post-Impressionist painter and influenced much of the early-20th-century movement known as Cubism. Some of his notable works include The Card Players, The Bathers, and Pyramid of Skulls. He experimented with water colors and had created a host of still-life paintings.

 6 Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas.
5
Famous As: Impressionist Painter
Birthdate: July 19, 1834
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 27, 1917

French Impressionist artist Edgar Degas is best remembered for his oil paintings and pastel drawings and for his signature use of dancers and bathing women as themes in his works such as Fin d'Arabesque and Woman in a Tub. He had also experimented with bronze sculptures and called himself a realist.

 7 Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 25, 1841
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Limoges
Died: December 3, 1919

French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, father of actor Pierre Renoir and director Jean Renoir, was a key Impressionist painter. His best-known works include The Swing, Diana, and Seated Girl. He was known for his use of vibrant colors and feminine sensuality in his works. He also painted landscapes and portraits.

You May Like

 8 Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall.
4
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: July 6, 1887
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lizona, Belarus
Died: March 28, 1985

Russian-French artist Marc Chagall, a key figure of modernism, had explored a wide range of media as an artist, from paintings and drawings to stained glass and ceramics. His major projects included the ceiling of the Paris Opéra, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Jerusalem Windows of Israel.

 9 Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp.
5
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: July 28, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Blainville-Crevon
Died: October 2, 1968
French-American painter and sculptor Marcel Duchamp is remembered for his association with movements such as Cubism and Dadaism. A significant figure in conceptual art, he was against art that was meant to just cater to the eyes. He was also a skilled chess player and carved his own chess set.

 10 Édouard Manet

Édouard Manet.
6
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 23, 1832
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 30, 1883

Édouard Manet was a French painter who played a key role in the transition to Impressionism from Realism in the 19th-century. Manet was one of the first artists from his generation to paint modern life. His early masterworks, such as Olympia, served as rallying points for young and aspiring impressionist painters. His works continue to influence painters around the world.

 11 Georges Seurat

Georges Seurat.
6
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: December 2, 1859
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 29, 1891

A significant figure of the Post-Impressionist era, Georges Seurat depicted structured art, far removed from the free-flowing Impressionist art. Best known for techniques such as pointillism, he created masterpieces such as Bathers at Asnières. He died before his last exhibition ended, and eerily displayed an unfinished painting, Cirque.

 12 Camille Pissarro

Camille Pissarro.
4
Famous As: Painter, Printmaker
Birthdate: July 10, 1830
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas, Danish West Indies (now US Virgin Islands)
Died: November 13, 1903

Camille Pissarro was a Danish-French painter best remembered for his contributions to Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism. He is credited with establishing a group of 15 aspiring artists, for which he served as a pivotal figure. He was regarded as a father figure to several important painters, including Vincent Willem van Gogh.

 13 Gustave Courbet

Gustave Courbet.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: June 10, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ornans, Doubs, France
Died: December 31, 1877
Born to a farmer in eastern France, Gustave Courbet was initially gearing up to study law but later deviated to art. He started by copying Spanish painters and later rebelled against Romanticism, focusing on real-life subjects around him instead and thus developing 19th-century Realism.

 14 Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: August 29, 1780
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montauban, France
Died: January 14, 1867

 15 Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi
4
Famous As: Sculptor
Birthdate: August 2, 1834
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Colmar, France
Died: October 4, 1904

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was a French painter and sculptor remembered for designing the Statue of Liberty. He is also credited with designing other iconic statues like The Lion of Belfort and Marquis de Lafayette. In addition to being a sculptor, Bartholdi also played an important role in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, serving as a liaison officer to Giuseppe Garibaldi.

 16 Jean-François Millet

Jean-François Millet
4
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: October 4, 1814
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gréville-Hague, La Hague, France
Died: January 20, 1875

 17 Théodore Géricault

Théodore Géricault
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 26, 1791
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rouen, France
Died: January 26, 1824

 18 Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 24, 1864
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Albi
Died: September 9, 1901
French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was one of the most significant figures of the Post-Impressionist period. He was also an illustrator and poster painter, who was known for his colorful depictions of cabaret from Paris's Moulin Rouge. His painting The Laundress sold for US$22.4 million at a 2005 Christie’s auction.

 19 Fernand Léger

Fernand Léger.
3
Famous As: Cubist Painter
Birthdate: February 4, 1881
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Argentan
Died: August 17, 1955

Fernand Léger was a French sculptor, painter, and filmmaker. Widely regarded as the forerunner of pop art, Léger was also active as a teacher for several years. He is also credited with establishing his own Académie Fernand Léger, where he taught for many years. Many of his pupils went on to establish themselves as successful artists.

 20 Auguste Rodin

Auguste Rodin.
4
Famous As: Sculptor
Birthdate: November 12, 1840
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 17, 1917
Initially aspiring to be a monk, Auguste Rodin found his true calling when he visited Italy and was awestruck by Michelangelo’s creations. His iconic sculptures such as The Thinker and The Age of Bronze are astoundingly life-like. He breathed magic into nudes and ballerinas made of stone and bronze.

 21 Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier.
8
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: October 6, 1887
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: La Chaux-de-Fonds
Died: August 27, 1965

Le Corbusier was a Swiss-French designer, painter, architect, writer, and urban planner. He was one of the pioneers of modern architecture. During his illustrious career, which spanned 50 years, Le Corbusier designed buildings in India, Japan, Europe, and North and South America. He is also credited with revolutionizing urban planning.  

 22 Camille Claudel

Camille Claudel.
4
Famous As: Sculptor
Birthdate: December 8, 1864
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Fère-en-Tardenois, France
Died: October 19, 1943

French sculptor Camille Claudel is also popularly known as legendary sculptor Auguste Rodin’s student, mistress, and muse. Claudel also contributed to many of Rodin’s masterpieces but never got any credit for it. After her relationship with Rodin soured, she became alienated and eventually died in an asylum.

 23 Henri Rousseau

Henri Rousseau
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 21, 1844
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Laval, France
Died: September 2, 1910

 24 Édouard-Henri Avril

Édouard-Henri Avril.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 21, 1849
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Algiers, Algeria
Died: July 28, 1928

Before he revolutionized 19th-century erotica as Paul Avril, Édouard-Henri Avril was a soldier. An injury sustained in the Franco-Prussian War cut short his military life, and he was pushed into Paris sex salons to study art. His most notable works, such as the illustrations for Fanny Hill, were largely banned.

 25 Gustave Doré

Gustave Doré
4
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: January 6, 1832
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
Died: January 23, 1883

Best known for his wood-engraving, Gustave Doré was a child prodigy who began his artwork at the tender age of 5. A master lithographer and caricaturist, he began his career with Journal pour Rire. He also worked on commissions from authors such as Cervantes, Milton, and Dante.

 26 William-Adolphe Bouguereau

William-Adolphe Bouguereau.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 30, 1825
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: La Rochelle, France
Died: August 19, 1905

William-Adolphe Bouguereau was a French academic painter who enjoyed significant popularity in the United States and France. Renowned for his realistic genre paintings, which focused on the beauty of the female human body, Bouguereau received top prices for his paintings and numerous official honors during his lifetime. 

 27 Marie Tussaud

Marie Tussaud.
4
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: December 1, 1761
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
Died: April 16, 1850

Marie Tussaud was a French artist and sculptor best remembered for her wax sculptures. She founded Madame Tussauds, a wax museum, in London in 1835. The museum is a major tourist attraction today. As a young girl, she learned wax modeling from doctor cum wax modeler Philippe Curtius. In the ensuing years, she became a prominent sculptor.

 28 Berthe Morisot

Berthe Morisot
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 14, 1841
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bourges, France
Died: March 2, 1895

 29 Louis Daguerre

Louis Daguerre.
4
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: November 18, 1787
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cormeilles-en-Parisis, France
Died: July 10, 1851
Remembered for his invention of the daguerreotype, or the first process of photography, which could develop pictures in just 20 to 30 minutes, Louis Daguerre had humble beginnings as revenue officer and then an opera scene painter. He was also instrumental in setting up the first diorama theater.

 30 Jean-Leon Gerome

Jean-Leon Gerome
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 11, 1824
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vesoul, Haute-Saône, France
Died: January 10, 1904

 31 Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: October 3, 1867
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fontenay-aux-Roses, France
Died: January 23, 1947

French painter Pierre Bonnard was part of Les Nabis and later led the Intimists. Known for his love for bright colors, he painted a range of subjects, from domestic scenes to nudes, and could even paint from memory. Though a womanizer, Bonnard was married to his muse Marthe de Méligny.

 32 Jean-Honore Fragonard

Jean-Honore Fragonard
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 5, 1732
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Grasse, France
Died: August 22, 1806

 33 Gustave Moreau

Gustave Moreau
3
Famous As: Illustrator
Birthdate: April 6, 1826
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 18, 1898

French Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau is best remembered for his erotic paintings of mythological and religious figures. His works were deeply influenced by Théodore Chassériau, his teacher, and later by the Italian Renaissance. The Apparition and Jupiter and Sémélé remain two of his best-known works.

 34 Odilon Redon

Odilon Redon
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 20, 1840
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: July 6, 1916

 35 Suzanne Valadon

Suzanne Valadon
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 23, 1865
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bessines-sur-Gartempe, France
Died: April 7, 1938

 36 Gustave Caillebotte

Gustave Caillebotte
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: August 19, 1848
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 21, 1894

 37 Paul Signac

Paul Signac.
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 11, 1863
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris
Died: August 15, 1935

Paul Signac had initially aspired to become an architect but later deviated to painting. A major figure of the post-Impressionist period, he, along with Georges Seurat, pioneered the technique called pointillism. A sailor and an avid traveler, he mirrored the beauty of the European coasts in his works.

 38 Sonia Delaunay

Sonia Delaunay.
3
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: November 14, 1885
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ukraine
Died: December 5, 1979

A pioneer of abstract art and Orphism, French artist Sonia Delaunay was the first living female to have an exhibition at the Louvre Museum. Her art extended to stage sets, pottery, and fabrics. She and her husband, Robert Delaunay, collaborated on various public projects, including murals.

 39 Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun

Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 16, 1755
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 30, 1842

 40 Erté

Erté
3
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: November 23, 1892
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Russian Empire
Died: April 21, 1990

Russian-French designer and artist Romain de Tirtoff, better known as Erté, not just designed clothes but also created sets, costumes, and posters for opera and ballet performances. He had worked for Harper’s Bazaar and the Folies-Bergère, and had also penned quite a few books on design and illustration.

 41 James Tissot

James Tissot
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: October 15, 1836
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nantes, France
Died: August 8, 1902

 42 Aristide Maillol

Aristide Maillol
3
Famous As: Sculptor
Birthdate: December 8, 1861
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Banyuls-sur-Mer, France
Died: September 27, 1944

Best known for his female nude statues, Aristide Maillol had started his career as a tapestry painter. He was 40 when failing eyesight forced him to quit painting and take to sculpting. He was influenced by the French group of artists named the Nabis. Many of his artworks were later looted by the Nazis.

 43 Honoré Daumier

Honoré Daumier
3
Famous As: Painter, Draftsperson, Caricaturist, Sculptor, Lithographer, Engraver
Birthdate: February 26, 1808
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Marseille
Died: February 10, 1879

Honoré Daumier is best remembered for his satirical cartoons on the French society and politics. Born to a glazier father in Marseille, he later began studying art under Alexandre Lenoir and developed a love for sculptures, too. He later made a fortune, working on commissions of lithographs.

 44 Francis Picabia

Francis Picabia
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 22, 1879
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 30, 1953

 45 Alexandre Cabanel

Alexandre Cabanel
3
Famous As: Painter, University teacher
Birthdate: September 28, 1823
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Montpellier
Died: January 23, 1889

 46 Jeanne Hebuterne

Jeanne Hebuterne
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 6, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Meaux, Seine-et-Marne, French Third Republic
Died: January 26, 1920

 47 Adah Isaacs Menken

Adah Isaacs Menken
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 15, 1835
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: August 10, 1868

 48 Victorine Meurent

Victorine Meurent
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 18, 1844
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 17, 1927

 49 Tsuguharu Foujita

Tsuguharu Foujita
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: November 27, 1886
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Shinogawamachi, Tokyo, Japan
Died: January 29, 1968

Tsuguharu Foujita was a Japanese expatriate painter, known for his nude paintings, portraits, city scenes and painting of cats. Moving to Paris at the age of 25, he made friends with many aspiring artists including Picasso and Matisse, shortly becoming famous for his Reclining Nude with Toile de Jouy. He turned to more religious subjects towards the end of his lucrative career.  

 50 Max Jacob

Max Jacob
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: July 12, 1876
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Quimper, France
Died: March 5, 1944